For people who are just starting out using resistance bands one of the things that is hard to get used to is just how far you can pull on the bands. It is natural to think that when you stretch out something that it is going to get weaker and then break. However resistance bands are not as easy to break as some people might think.
Resistance bands can generally be stretched to 300% of their “resting” size before there is any risk of damage to the band. So if you have a resistance band that is about 6 feet long you can stretch it apart until it is 18 feet long before you need to start worrying about the band. Unless you are some sort of alien with incredibly long arms and legs, the actual rubber and elastic portion of the band breaking under normal use is not something to worry about.
However bands can become torn or weak if they are stored or used improperly. Resistance bands should not be stored in places where the temperature gets extreme, such as in the trunk of a car, for long periods of time. You also need to be careful about how you use your bands. When attaching them to a door or wrapping them around an object you need to make sure that the band is not pinched. It should loop easily through the door anchor or around a pole. Do not jam part of the resistance band into a door and then close the door on the band!
When a resistance band fails, it is most often at the point where the band and the handles are connected. For clip on bands, the hook system can get bent if not used properly, and if you apply force at the proper angle then it might cause the hook to fail. Many handles are attached to the hook system by fabric. This fabric will naturally wear out over time, but should last for years if stored properly.
Before using your resistance bands take a few seconds to inspect for any signs of wear and tear. For the handles and ankle straps look for bent metal or fabric that is coming apart. For the actual rubber or elastic bands look for tears and for signs of “scarring” where the band turns white where it was pinched or over stretched at a particular point. If the band is showing signs of wear then you should replace it. Many manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their bands so it is just a matter of mailing the old one in and getting a replacement.
With proper care and storage your resistance bands should last for several years. Always inspect your bands before using them, it only takes a few seconds. When you are done with your workout make sure your bands are stored properly in a loop and try to keep them out of the trunk of your car for long periods of time. Also make sure to properly use door anchors and do not set something heavy and pointy (like the end of a table) on your bands.
Exercise bands are a great way to lose weight and stay in shape. Although they are less expensive than other exercise equipment, care should be taken of them to make them last as long as possible. Proper use and storage of your bands can keep them in good shape for years.